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Wanderer Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Sheridan House; Reprint edition (January 25, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574090488
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574090482
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

...one unforgettable voyage...under a captain whose words may echo in your mind and whose attitude may inform your spirit for the rest of your life. (The Times)

An impressive writer. Like Fitzgerald, Hayden is a romantic. His writing about the sea evokes echoes of Conrad and McFee, of London and Galsworthy...Beautifully done. (The Los Angeles Times)

A superb piece of writing...Echoes from Poe and Melville to Steinbeck and Mailer. A work of fascination on every level. (New York Post)

Hayden's wonderful autobiography Wanderer ...should be in every main salon aboard every boat. Hayden's life can't be emulated, but it is instructive (Ocean Navigator)

From the Publisher

Review: It's mighty nice of Sheridan House to reprint Wanderer for a new generation. Many may have missed this treasure its first time around in 1963, and its second printing in '77. The author, Hayden, was a hero to many sailors worldwide, as well as to workaday malcontents "living lives of quiet desperation." His searching autobiography reads like a novel; indeed, in today's vanilla world, with horizons shrinking for Everyman, Hayden's story seems a fantasy. Rest assured, it's not... He thumbed his nose at the movie industry, his ex-wife, and a judge's order forbidding him to take his children to sea in the ex-pilot schooner Wanderer. He sailed off to Tahiti anyway, deeply in debt, taking his children and a crew of friends. His defiance made big news. It made Hayden a public hero again, for lots of men longed to tell their bosses to shove it. Hayden did it, and it made perfect sense to a lot of us. When his book came out, we rushed to buy it. Our reward was an exceptional tale, especially for sailors.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Read this, it's pretty cool.
james moore
This book changed my life and changed the way I view life.
sybucket
His story is an amazing tale of a life well lived.
Mary Vaughan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Brian A. Glennon on September 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
Just replace the word 'Wanderer' with 'Philosopher' throughout this book and you will get the idea of what the author is unconsciously trying to say. The autobiography WANDERER (c.1963, 2000) by Sterling Hayden, is a narrative written in the first and third person of a man who became enamoured with working sail at an early age, and in its pursuit, acquired a multitude of diverse life experiences few people have achieved, and/or, depending on your viewpoint, would want.
The author has compiled a litany of accomplishment simply by writing about the lifestyle he loved best. Sterling Hayden was a dory fisherman in the Grand Banks as a teenager; captained a two masted brig from Boston to Tahiti at age 22; he then became one of the youngest Master Mariners at age 24; sailed around the world twice; sailed to Tahiti several times; was the protege of the top men in his field such as: Robert O. White (Instrument Maker); Irving Johnson, Lincoln Colcord, and Ben Pine. He was also a mate on board the Gloucesterman 'Gertrude L. Thebaud' in its historic race against the big Canadian saltbanker'Bluenose'. He dined with the President of the United States; became a movie star; married a movie star; starred in two Stanley Kubrick productions; became wealthy and became broke; was an enlisted man then a Marine Corp officer; test-ran some of the first PT boats for the U.S. Navy; became an intelligence officer in the Balkans during W.W.II with the nascent O.S.S. and met with its founder 'Wild Bill' Donovan; and testified before the Senate Committee investigating un-American activities in Hollywood. Even from his best jobs Sterling Hayden would willingly descend down the social ladder as drifter, vagabond, and working sailor, because to him they were all interchangeable.
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65 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Tom Bruce on April 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought my copy of "The Wanderer" when it was first published in 1964, because Sterling Hayden was one of my favorite actors. I especially enjoyed his work in The Asphalt Jungle, Johnny Guitar, The Killing, Suddenly, and Terror in a Texas Town, among others. Now, 40 years later I have decided to reread the book, and I forgot how good it was. The central theme of the book is Hayden's escape from Hollywood, with his young children in tow, on the schooner for which the book is named. He made this voyage to the south seas against orders of the court, who considered it too dangerous for the children. As he tells of this less than idyllic voyage, he intersperses fragments of his life, concentrating mostly on his late teens and twenties when he was a working seaman. He is very stylistic in his writing, and sometimes his switching from first to third person narrative is quite jarring, but the effect is emotionally charging. As he ages into his thirties and beyond, Sterling finds his life falling apart. He becomes a Hollywood heart throb and detests his work and lifestyle. He becomes a Communist for a few months, but never really gets with the program, and to save his hated career, he goes before the HUAC and bares his soul and names names, an action he quickly and forever regretted. He seesaws between impotency and affairs, he can't communicate with the women he loves, he struggles with no notable success with psychotherapy, he finds his life adrift with no anchor in sight. All of these travails he lays out with such frankness, I felt embarassed for him. Hayden holds nothing back as he displays his warts and finds no joy in his life, except with his children. Does he simply settle, or does he come to some kind of compromise he can live with?Read more ›
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
I genuinely enjoyed this book. It is an unapologetic autobiography by a complex and sensitive person. I picked it up because I enjoyed Sterling Hayden as an actor, I put it down respecting him as a human. In my opinion, he is not telling his story because he is looking for approval or justification, he is writing the truth about himself, as he perceives it, as an exercise in self-understanding. Enough said, I will not continue to presume to speak for someone who speaks so eloquently for himself.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
Despite being marketed as a maritime book, "Wanderer" is as much a description of one man's inner wanderings as it is a travelogue of Hayden's travel to Tahiti.Throughout, Hayden comes off as a resolute man of principle and insight.I have read the book three times and always glean something new from it. Highly recommended.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
Wanderer is more than just another sea story. It is one of the finest books ever written about personal freedom.
Sterling Hayden had a substantial acting talent, but the great surprise here is that his writing far surpasses it. The first section, in particular, is one of the tightest, most lyrical long passages in mid-20th century prose, rivalling William Faulkner and Robert Penn Warren (it reminds me of the first 100 or so pages of "The Cave"). But, as is appropriate for a voyage that begins in the San Francisco Bay in 1963, it shows a style reminiscent of Jack Kerouac and Dylan Thomas.
Wanderer is a ripping good story, but read it at least once for the writing.
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